Practical Steps for Positive Workplaces


Being able to enjoy our lives and our work is important. In our post-pandemic age, the focus on wellbeing at work is sharper, and we are beginning to consider the elements of workplaces which are problematic.

This course introduces delegates to the fundamentals of human performance in the workplace: motivation, personality, and interpersonal behaviour through culture. These are all elements where toxicity can creep in, where we might see toxic workloads, toxic cultures and toxic people.

We will look at how unmanageable workloads, those which are demanding and stressful, which eat into recreational time and sleep cycles, can be better managed. Suggestions for regaining optimal performance levels -good engagement for the long term, will be offered.

We will also consider the effects of toxic cultures (e.g. where individuals are singled out, where the environment is not psychologically safe, where equity is not guaranteed), and what can be done to improve the situation, or re-frame it such that the toxicity is mitigated.

The third kind of toxicity we see in workplaces comes from individuals, and it is these individuals who can do the most damage: capable of devious and careless behaviour which can destroy people, teams and ultimately, their organisations. We will explore the underpinnings and the outcomes of the behaviour from these toxic people, when often people find they lack a proper vocabulary to define what is happening to them, and unaffected co-workers seem unable or unwilling to recognize the problem.

This course takes a positive view of the potential sources of toxicity in our workplaces, opens the lid on otherwise unspoken toxic behaviour, and provides the terminology to recognize, identify and verbalize toxicity. Participants will learn about psychological tools and techniques to recognize and protect themselves, and be introduced to self- repair strategies to facilitate better mental health.

Programme details

This one-day course is open to all and uses the context of the workplace to discuss toxic culture and pathological behaviour.
Using an evidence base and case study, participants will explore toxicity in culture and workload.

You will also have the opportunity to consider the nature of toxic individuals, explore their pathological personality traits, and learn to identify the signs and strategies they employ. Finally strategies to combat toxicity, and recover from it, will be explored. 

Key Themes

  • Identifying elements of culture, and how they might be toxic
  • Expectations and management of toxic workloads
  • Identifying Pathology in Personality: toxic people
  • Recovery and maintenance of optimal performance for good mental health
  • Survival strategies

By the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • Identify and describe elements of workplace toxicity 

  • Recognize the signs and strategies of the pathological personality in the workplace 

  • Use strategies to protect yourself from some of the effects of toxicity 

  • Use strategies to recover from some effects of workplace toxicity

Attending Your Course 

Further details will be emailed to you two weeks ahead of your course, which will include registration information. 

Please get in touch if you have not received this information within five working days of the course start date.  

In the meantime, you may wish to plan your travel: Travel information 


Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford certificate of attendance. This will be presented to you prior to the end of the course wherever possible.

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.


Description Costs
Standard course fee £425.00


Fees include course materials, tuition, refreshments and lunches. The price does not include accommodation.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.

Request an invoice

If you require an invoice for your company or personal records, please email us to request an application form. 

Payment is accepted online, by credit/debit card, or by bank transfer. Please do not send card or bank details via email.


Dr Jane Pollock

Course Director

Independent Consultant and Researcher

Jane is a Chartered Psychologist, an Independent Consultant in Organisational Psychology, and a tutor and lecturer in Psychology and Statistics. She has a history of highly successful courses in both Psychology and Business streams, and takes a practical approach to a subject crucial to the success of people in organisations.


If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please click Contact Us at the top of this page.


Although not included in the course fee, accommodation may be available at our on-site Rewley House Residential Centre. All bedrooms are en suite and decorated to a high standard, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

To check prices, availability and to book rooms please visit the Rewley House Residential Centre website.